Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The General Election Dividing Line : Truth & Dishonesty

The Tories have accepted Gordon’s dividing lines on cuts versus spending.  Gordon seemed to think that he could then just shout “Tory Cuts” and that would be it, 1997 all over again.  Only problem being that the economy is in such bad shape there will inevitably be “Labour Cuts”.  The Treasury knows it, the Chancellor knows it, Yvette Cooper knows it, Peter Mandelson knows it, the City knows it, the media knows it and the voters understand that it is necessary. Only Gordon thinks his delusional dividing line is plausible. This is why this attack video from the Tories hits the spot (though it goes on a bit too long):

Cameron at PMQs keeps on going at Brown’s credibility. It will succeed as a line of attack because it is true. Brown can’t help himself when it comes to fiddling statistics.  The whole success of his chancellorship was based on massaging the numbers…

UPDATE : Politicshome polled 100 Westminster insiders and found that 74% thought that “‘the central ideas that make up Gordon Brown’s policy, political strategy and day-to-day tactics were all developed between 1992 and 1994. He hasn’t had an important idea since.”  Which explains why he thinks the “Tory Cuts” line might still work…

PMQs Live-Chat : Squeaker in the Chair Edition

Which Public Schoolboys Does David Davis Mean?

At last night’s Spectator debate on grammar schools David Davis said he owed everything to the opportunity given to him by his grammar school.  He described the failed forty-year comprehensive scho0l system experiment as a catastrophe.

“…out of this catastrophe there was only one winning group. Do you know who they were?  Yes, the public schools. Who teach just 7% of the population.”

The handicapping of the intellectual capacity of the country has definitely given the  children of the privileged who were able to buy a better education, great advantages.  Can’t help thinking he has a particular public school in mind…

Harman Bill : Not Independent, Not Credible

Parliamentary Standards Bill 2009

The government’s Bill introduced by Harriet Harman yesterday proposes establishing a body to be known as the “Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority” and an officer known as the “Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations”.

The five members of the IPSA will be

“appointed by the Queen upon an Address of the House of Commons. A motion may only be made only with the agreement of the Speaker for a candidate selected on merit on the basis of fair and open competition and approved by a Speaker’s Committee. Members will be removable only in response to an Address of both Houses. There will be requirements that one member of the IPSA should have accountancy experience, that one member should have Parliamentary experience, and that one member be a holder of or have held high judicial office.”

The Commissioner will be appointed the same way.  There will, according to the Bill

“be a Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority charged with exercising the functions given to it under the Bill – in particular, approving the selection of persons to be members of the IPSA and the Commissioner.”

Do you see the flaw in this “independent” Comissioner and Authority?  Members will be drawn from the establishment and their selection approved by the Speaker’s appointees.  Would we permit criminals to choose their own judge and jury?

This is a stitch up, we don’t need more rules and self-selected regulators, we need reform of the expenses system,  together with clarity, transparency and enforcement of the rules.  The voters will kick out MPs if they can identify crooks, in this sense in a democracy voters are the ultimate regulator of politicians.  This whole idea is ill-founded, we don’t need to intermediate democracy with another quango or committee, this approach has already failed.

We need only to empower voters with enough information so that they can determine the truth about those who seek to represent them.  The truth is all we need, not redactions, not more quangocrats.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jonah Brown Ejects 240 Jobs from Aircraft Seating Firm

Jonah ContourThe sorry state of the economy has been off the front pages of late, but make no mistake the fun and games of electing a speaker should not distract us from paying attention to soaring unemployment and deteriorating business conditions.

Business conditions which suffer under the ceaseless curse of visits from our jinxed PM. The tragedy that follows any visit by him to any shopfloor is endless. A few months ago the Prime Mentalist was accompanied on his visit to the Contour Premium Aircraft Seating factory by Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan, the very next month they announced 40 job losses. Today another 240 jobs are going. The curse of the one-eyed son of the manse casts its shadow…

Margaret Moran Lobbied Against Rival Companies

Over at the FT they have discovered that Margaret Moran not only lobbied for EQN, the company run out of her office, she lobbied against the company’s rivals. Malfeasance in public office anyone?

Sacked Boris Aide Lunched His Mistress on Expenses

Andrew Gilligan and Paul Waugh have been digging into Ian Clement’s expense claims for restaurant meals charged to the public purse on a City Hall credit card. It appears he was taking out his mistress

Draper Gives Masterclass

draper pr week

PR Week are holding a fancy New Media and Blogging conference this week with luminaries like DJ Collins from Google speaking (who incidentally was tapped to go spin do “strategic communications” for Downing Street, had drinks with Brown, told Google he was going, but backed out after a turf war with the bunker heavies before actually moving).

Draper has not withdrawn from the line-up the organisers say.  Guido is loooking forward particularly to hearing from Draper how to “Get The Tone Right To Achieve Maximum Coverage” and how to “Perfect your blogger Outreach Strategy”.  Also can’t wait to hear “How to Build Relationships with Bloggers”. Presumably by calling them racists.

Guido will also be speaking at the event on the subject of “sophisticated blogging”.  Honestly.

UPDATE : It is sold out.

Too Early for “Bercow Must Go”

Bercow on Probabtion

With the support of only 3 members sitting on the benches of the next governing party never in living memory has a new speaker so divided the house. Already the drum beat has started to undermine him.  Don’t get Guido wrong, there is good reason to be wary of Speaker Bercow.

He is the candidate of a party on the way out.  Like a drunk being thrown out of the pub they have spat on the floor before they got thrown out the door.  Bercow is disliked intensely by those who know him best, the longer you have known him, the less you like him. He was championed by Julian Lewis, who fought a dubious and disingenuous campaign against the public finding out about house flipping by MPs.  In the run up to his election Bercow called for a 60% pay increase for MPs. These are not good omens.

Putting aside Guido’s personal animosity, there are some good things to be said for Bercow.  No one doubts his energy or his ability to articulate his views.  They are not things that could be said for the last Speaker.

Speakers-OfficeThere is no point undermining him before we see how he actually performs in the job.  There is now an opportunity for a great reforming Speaker to drive through reforms that regain for parliament the ability to hold the government to account and in check.  Bercow has been elected on a manifesto promising to modernise procedures, strengthen democratic oversight of the government and make parlaiment more transparent.  If he sets the course for great reform let him keep his job.  If he fails, the next parliament should not hesitate to find someone else who can do the job.

UPDATE : Dale reminds Guido that Bercow promised that any minister who made an announcement to the media instead of the House first would be called to explain himself before parliament. Watch out for that, Guido’s money is on Ed Balls doing it first. Wonder what will happen if Mandelson does it…

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bercow 322 v Young 271


Seen Elsewhere

Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath


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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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